Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
MAKES ABOUT 2 DOZEN
I love to search for old forgotten recipes, just for the pleasure of bringing back memories. This one originated in a small community not too far from Benevento, and was passed down by Lucia DiMicco's mother, a friend of Rose Tavino Manes. True, there are many versions of Sfinci, or fried puffs of dough. I like the texture and lightness of this one, which uses ricotta in the batter. These are quick snacks or a great breakfast treat. You can make the dough the night before.
2 large eggs
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 cups ricotta cheese, well drained
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or favorite liqueur
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups vegetable oil
In a bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, ricotta, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to the egg mixture, blending well until a heavy, sticky batter is formed. If the batter seems too dry, add a little milk.
In a heavy, deep pan or deep-fryer, heat the vegetable oil to 375F.
Using 2 soup spoons, drop heaping tablespoons of batter into the hot oil and fry until deep golden on both sides. Sometimes the puffs will flip over by themselves; if not, turn them with a slotted spoon. Remove the puffs with a slotted spoon to brown paper to drain.
Place the puffs on a serving dish and sprinkle all over with confectioner's sugar. These are best served warm.
This recipe is from NELLA CUCINA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company Inc., in 1993.